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Citizenship, crime, criminalization: marshalling a social democratic perspective

By Robert Reiner


This paper argues that criminalization, in the double sense of more perceived (and probably actual) crime and of the tough crime control policies brought by the politics of law and order, are consequences of the reversal some thirty years ago of the centuries-long progress toward universal incorporation into social, political, and civil citizenship. By contrast, the hundred years before that had witnessed the spread of social rights and greater inclusiveness, and experienced a benign coupling of lower crime and disorder with more consensual and welfare-oriented policing and penality. The necessary condition of restoring that more benign climate of greater security is a reversal of the neoliberalism that undermined social democracy. Since the 2007 credit crash, neoliberalism has been challenged increasingly, as practice and as ideology, yet it remains deeply embedded. The ideas and organization to restore social democracy have not been developed. Nonetheless it remains the precondition for security and humane criminal justice, as envisaged by T.H. Marshall's citizenship lectures fifty years ago

Topics: K Law (General)
Publisher: University of California Press
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1525/nclr.2010.13.2.241
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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